AWP is a book written by Robert Twigger about his time as a live-in student at the famous Aikido Dojo in Tokyo. This is a bit of a classic but worth reviewing.
Robert, who at the time was in his 30’s, was set to fail. He wasn’t fit, he was a lot older than most of the other students and had no previous Aikido knowledge. Still, he threw himself in the deep end in one of the most intensive martial arts courses you could go on, the Tokyo Riot Police Course. Most students start this course as a black belt.
This book is injected with wry humour and a great way to see the Japanese mentality through the Westerners eye. He incorporates a human story that draws you in. The thing I like best is that he is not a super hero or a martial arts nut that has set on a quest. He is a physically average bloke that may have bit off more than he could chew! On saying that, he is obviously a very intellectual guy being an Oxford Poet (Scarf wearer instantly comes to mind) and some parts of his writing can come across as a bit too clever for a man such as my self ,who generally only picks up a book to kill a home invading insect.
Over-all, it is an extremely well written, honest and informative book, incorporating personal experience of martial arts and the Japanese culture. I understand that it won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year back in 1998. Although obviously written a while back, it’s not dated and would still be an enjoyable read.
Well done that man.